Is Vivus a Rudderless Ship?

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First Manhattan fought a protracted battle with Vivus management, claiming it had botched the launch of obesity drug Qsymia. Since approval midway through July 2012, shares of Vivus have plunged more than 50% as the drug has struggled to find traction in the market.

First Manhattan argued that its new board would help find a marketing partner as competitor Arena Pharmaceuticals has with its competing product Belviq, and it won enough support that an agreement between the company and the hedge fund culminated in the resignation of six board members arrival of a new CEO, Tony Zook. But after roughly a month on the job, Zook stepped down for health reasons. Does this development potentially throw Vivus off course?

In this video, health-care analyst David Williamson discusses why Vivus investors shouldn't be worried over the news, given management's turnaround plan and, more importantly, the fact that ever since Qsymia was allowed in retail pharmacies, its sales have showed strong growth.

Can Vivus pick up its lagging sales and fend off the competition, or will Arena Pharmaceuticals reign supreme in the obesity space? If you're in the dark, grab copies of The Motley Fool's premium research reports on Vivus and Arena Pharmaceuticals to stay up to date. Senior biotech analyst Brian Orelli gives investors the must-know information, including an in-depth look at the obesity market and reasons to buy and sell both stocks. Click now for an exclusive look at Arena and Vivus -- complete with a full year of free updates -- today.

The article Is Vivus a Rudderless Ship? originally appeared on

David Williamson has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow David on Twitter: @MotleyDavid. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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